Managing apple scab on ornamental trees and shrubs

Quick facts

  • Severely infected leaves turn yellow and drop prematurely, weakening the tree. 
  • Consecutive years of early leaf loss can result in decreased growth, reduced bloom and increased susceptibility to winter injury.
  • Severely infected fruit may be deformed and cracked.
  • Disease resistance is the best way to manage scab of flowering crabapples.
  • Fungicides must be applied preventively to successfully manage apple scab.

Apple scab is a very common disease, and one of the most aesthetically damaging diseases of several ornamental trees and shrubs in Minnesota. The main symptoms of the disease are leaf and fruit spots. Very susceptible trees become defoliated by mid-summer, which weakens the trees over time.

Management of apple scab on ornamental trees and shrubs

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Identifying apple scab

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Rebecca Koetter and Michelle Grabowski

Reviewed in 2018

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